Member Services

MSA 15: Modernism and the Street

MSA 15

Modernism and the Street


Walter Benjamin, in The Arcades Project, argued that “streets are the dwelling place of the collective. The collective is an eternally unquiet, eternally agitated being that – I the space between the building fronts – experiences, learns, understands, and invents as much as individuals do within the privacy of their own four walls.”

Modernism represented an epistemological shift in the consideration of street space and, moreover, could be considered as a significant aesthetic catalyst for social attitudes towards public behaviour. This panel seeks to interrogate the new representations of street spaces that emerged during modernism, and to consider their long-term consequences, both artistic and social. How did artists and writers engage with the streets? What social conditions informed their interactions, and what were the political and cultural ramifications?

I am particularly interested in any papers that consider modernism and the street, including concepts of interior and exterior, public and private roles, exhibition and display, and the quotidian and sensational. Papers from the fields of literature, history, art history, gender studies, and sociology are welcome; interdisciplinary papers are both welcomed and encouraged.

Please submit a short abstract (200-250 words) along with a 2-3 sentence scholarly biography to Alexandra Smith ( asmi1958@uni.sydney.edu.au ) by March 14.


Conference Location: Brighton, UK
Conference Starts: August 29, 2013
Conference Ends: September 01, 2013

CFP Submission Deadline: March 14, 2013

For more information, contact: Alexandra Smith

Back to Main Index